Learning Torah On Shabbat

Updated: Jan 25

The Daily Halacha Moment - Learning Torah On Shabbat 📙


״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן

‎העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)


“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


Question:

What is the importance of learning Torah on Shabbat?


Answer:

One should set aside time to learn Torah on Shabbat, or at least attend a Torah class, since one of the reasons of why Shabbat was given to the Bnei Yisrael was to not allow work and allow people to have time to learn the Torah. [See footnote 1]


One may learn any part of Torah that one feels he wants to learn on Shabbat, even if one will strain himself to learn in depth. However, many people have the custom to learn parts of Torah that require less strain, such as Midrashim and Aggadic Gemarot. [2]


Similarly, one should try to come up with a novel explanation in some part of the Torah on Shabbat. [3] If one cannot think of anything, then one should at least learn some part of Torah that one has never learned before, or read a novel explanation that one has never read.[4]

Furthermore, one should not stay up all night learning Torah on Shabbat if one does not enjoy doing so. [5]


Sources:

[1]. See Yerushalmi, Shabbat 15:3; Tur §290; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 2, p. 208. See also in the introduction of Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 6 who states that the word “שבת “stands for שלום בשבת תענוג – Peace on Shabbat is pleasure, “Peace” is also a way of referring to the Torah, meaning to say that the true pleasure and enjoyment of Shabbat is experienced through learning Torah. The Ben Ish Chai, Shanah 2, Shemot also states that the merit of learning Torah on Shabbat is one thousand times greater on Shabbat than it is when learning during the weekday. See also in sefer Shem Olam, vol. 1, chap. 5.

[2]. See in Siddur Yaabatz, p. 735, §7 and in Petach HaDevir 290:5 who state that one should not learn Torah too in depth so as not to cause strain on oneself. However, many poskim argue on this view, and state that if one gets enjoyment out of learning in depth Torah on Shabbat, then it is perfectly permitted to do so. See Machazik Berachah 290:6; Torah Lishmah §110; Yabia Omer 2:18; Halichot Olam, vol. 3, p. 193; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 2, p. 212; Tzitz Eliezer, vol. 7, 23:5.Similarly, the poskim (see Mishnah Berurah 292:9; Kaf HaChaim 290:12 and others) state that one may learn Mussar on Shabbat. See also in Teshuvot VeHahagot 1:546.

[3]. Zohar, Parashat Shelach; Shelah, Shabbat, Ner Mitzvah §53; Eliyah Rabba 290:2; Machazik Berachah 290:4; Shaarei Teshuvah 290:2; Kaf HaChaim 290:10 and 300:13; Mishnah Berurah 290:3; Yabia Omer, vol. 2, O.C. 18:5. See also in Yesod VeShoresh HaAvodah 8:12.

[4]. See sources in the above footnote, and see also in Torah Lishmah §98.

[5]. Lev Chayim 2:180; Petach HaDevir 280:2; Torah Lishmah §449; Kaf HaChaim 280:5; Tzitz Eliezer, vol. 7, 23:2; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 2, p. 116.


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